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BCBSNC Experiences Delay in Processing of Member Applications and Issuing New ID Cards

(Update as of 1/24/14:  All new and renewal ID cards have now been issued to all members, including any members who received temporary ID cards.)

Implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is bringing many new health care coverage opportunities to people who were previously covered by an insurance plan, and for those who are signing up for coverage for the first time.  Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina (BCBSNC) is working hard to assist our customers understand the ACA and how it affects them, and we’re currently focused on helping our first-time members finalize their enrollment under their selected BCBSNC coverage options.   

As you’re likely aware, the enrollment process for members electing coverage through the Health Care Exchange (Exchange) experienced some technology start-up difficulties and open enrollment was extended until December 24, 2013.  Also, because of key provisions that required insurers to only offer ACA-compliant plans as of January 1, 2014, some BCBSNC members were temporarily removed from their coverage plans before being given the option to renew in those plans for 2014.  As a result BCBSNC has experienced delays in processing a high volume of member applications for coverage, and delivering their new health care insurance ID cards on time. 

In addition the Centers for Medicaid & Medicare Services has extended the deadline for the initial premium payments to January 24, 2014 for a January 1, 2014, effective date.  Please note that member enrollments will not be complete until we receive their initial premium payment.

While we’re working hard to process our member’s coverage applications and issue their BCBSNC member ID cards, there will be a small number of members who may have not received their ID cards yet, and who may request services prior to receipt of their ID cards. 

Here are some ways you can help members ensure they get the care they need when they need it, if they don’t have their new ID card yet:

  • If you have a BCBSNC patient who is seeking care but has not yet received their new ID card, please check Blue eSM to confirm a member’s benefits and eligibility.  If you are unable to confirm the member’s enrollment, please try again as we are continually processing enrollment applications.
  •  Most BCBSNC members already have ID cards, and some members waiting for their ID cards may present you with a Certificate of Coverage issued by BCBSNC, which serves as proof of their enrollment with us. 
  • Grandfathered members, or members who have not made any changes to their 2013 plans, may continue to use their 2013 ID cards if they have not yet received their 2014 ID cards, as there will not be any change to their member information. 
  • Impacted members enrolled for January 1, 2014, will be retroactively set-up in our data systems with a January 1 effective date.      

We appreciate your cooperation as we work diligently to ensure that our members are enrolled as quickly as possible and receive their member ID cards in a timely manner.